As we begin to celebrate our centennial, we want to showcase the customers who have helped support us throughout the years with a Customer of the Month showcase, a longform series dedicated to recognizing longtime Paper Mart customers and their stories.
Today we’re happy to kickstart this series with Amy Bartkus, the owner of Pickle Dog Design. If you didn’t know already, Pickle Dog Design is a Minnesota-based business that specializes in eclectic, handmade goods often inspired by their CPO (Chief Puppy Officer), Gedney. Read on for Amy’s story and more!
A Little Bit About Pickle Dog Design
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story! For those who don’t know, would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m Amy, owner of Pickle Dog Design. Let me tell you a little about myself. I like to make stuff. Minnesota is where I call home. I’ve always been a crafter. A maker. A designer. A doer. Instead of selling lemonade as a child, I sold friendship bracelets at my “lemonade” stand. My passion for crafting followed me all the way to college where I pursued a BA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. After working 10+ years as an in-house graphic designer at several companies and non-profit organizations, I stepped away from the computer a little bit and went back to my roots of crafting. I thoroughly enjoy the intimacy of making things with my own two hands. It’s where I’m happiest… besides spending time with my husband, daughter, son, and miniature dachshund.
I love dogs as much as I love design. I’m also extremely fond of pickles. So much so, that I named my miniature dachshund, Gedney, after the Minnesota pickle. So it only made sense for me to name my design business after Gedney—my loyal little pickle dog, business lap companion, and now CPO (Chief Puppy Officer). Pickle Dog Design was a labor of love and after about 9 months was born on September 12, 2011. It was a grand day! Now almost ten years later, Pickle Dog Design has grown into way more than ever imagined. I’m lucky now to call it both my passion and full-time job.
We’re obsessed with Gedney and each of your handmade goods! Not to mention, we love how you package them. What are your favorite packaging products and why do you love them?
Cello bags, bubble mailers, bubble wrap, and jewelry boxes… I love them all! I’ve never swayed away from Paper Mart products because there has never been a need to. The products have always been reliable in packaging my handmade goods and keeping them safe through delivery into my customer’s hands.
Shop Amy’s Picks
Now, if you had to pick a Pickle Dog Design favorite creation, which would it be?
I love creating so many things! That’s one reason why my shop has such a variety of items. I would currently say a favorite is any project with paper. Note cards, calendars, recipe cards, and gift tags… they’re all so fun to create and know they travel across the world for people to enjoy. Gedney, however, would have to say his favorite creation is our Doxie Magnets… only because they have a striking resemblance to him and are an Etsy bestseller.
Paper Mart & Pickle Dog Design
We can definitely relate! It’s bewildering to realize the national (or sometimes international!) journey a simple bubble mailer can take. We constantly find ourselves in a state of awe with the creativity that shows up on our feed and we’re immensely proud to help support it.
We have to ask, what is your Paper Mart story? How did you hear about us? How long have you been a customer and with all the packaging options out there – what keeps you coming back?
I discovered Paper Mart in 2011 when I was researching packaging options for my shop. I’ve been a customer ever since because of the quality, price, reliability, ease of ordering, excellent customer service, and knowing I’m supporting a family-owned business.
Yes! We’ve been family-owned for 100 years and we really couldn’t have done it without the support of businesses like yours. What are your thoughts on the importance of shopping family owned and local?
Shopping family owned and local is so important! Small business owners have really great days and really bad days. We have good years and we have bad years. We wear all the hats. We make hard choices. We plan and we prep and we make and we ship.
When you support a family business, it’s an actual person (and maybe also her dog) that sees that order come through. We feel joy… and a touch of relief. Your dollars, tags, shares, likes, follows, reviews, ratings, and recommendations are what allow us to keep our shop open year after year. It means so much when you shop family owned and local. It allows passions and dreams to be fulfilled. It allows money to stay within the community. Family owned businesses care about their customers and it shows.
This means so much to us. I’ll forever sound like a broken record with the amount of times I say, “thank you.” But really, truly – thank you! You’ve totally hit the nail on the head.
Paper Mart Supports The Makers & Creatives
Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the industry or you’re a longtime entrepreneur, we want you to know that we’re here to help support you and your business with quality packaging supplies and professional advice. From cello bags to help keep your handmade goods pristine to boxes and labels for shipping, we’ve got your business covered.
These images are courtesy of Pickle Dog Design. If you want to check out Amy’s handmade goods, check out the Pickle Dog Design Etsy and website to shop! Don’t forget to follow them on social media (Instagram and Facebook).
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